Four tomb robbers from a gang of 27 have been sentenced to death for looting hundreds of artifacts from dozens of tombs in China’s Hunan Province. The rest of the gang got jail terms ranging from 13 years to life.
The looters used explosives and heavy machinery to steal artifacts from tombs as much as 2500 years old between April of 2008 and January of 2009.
“Police have retrieved all of the relics stolen by the gang,” said Wang Lifu, a court investigator.
He said one of the stolen relics, a seal of a Changsha King, from a tomb of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 25 ), was under the state first-class protection.
Wang said the gang members were from several provinces, including Hunan, Shandong, Jiangxi, Shanxi and Gansu.
It’s the largest tomb robbing operation ever busted in Hunan Province, and obviously the Intermediate People’s Court in Changsha isn’t kid around when it comes to making examples of convicted criminals.